Cold constitutional




On the ice-edge of the hill

Gazing down grateful from verge of valley,

Coming in across country, a splinter of winter –


My feet hold fields.

And today, I saw the sun so wonderfully die,

The land turn black, crisp cutout trees clutching stricken stars,


My Ordnance Survey filled –

Dry moats overjumped, fallen houses seen, old stories

Stopped, pinned in place – “There is one surviving tower…”


Behind lie iron miles,

Silver-gilded soil and waiting woods, locked churches, ways

Silent and significant. The frost flakes flowers.


Now a great and universal chill –

Over unforgiving earth beasts bump their prize away,

Next year’s crops parade with glinting points, owls blink away hours.


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